Johannesburg Housing Company (JHC), and its subsidiary company Makhulong A Matala (MAM) in partnership with Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) are launching the Rooftop Food Gardens for Lake Success, one of JHC’s inner city buildings in Hillbrow situated at corner Peterson & Edith Cavell streets.

Lake Success Rooftop Food Gardens is JHC’s third project partially funded by JDA. Rooftop Food Gardens is an initiative of Makhulong A Matala aimed at empowering people to promote healthy eating, overcome hunger, transfer of skills, reducing unemployment by supplementing the family income through inspired saving on the purchase of fresh vegetables, alleviating malnutrition and the effects of disease in JHC buildings.

According to Thanduxolo Mendrew, Chief Executive Officer of the JDA, “the City of Johannesburg aims to strengthen the adaptive capacity of the City and its citizens, so that it may become more resilient. In achieving the ideal of a resilient city as contained in the Joburg 2040 strategy the JDA supports the development of rooftop gardens to improve the level of food security in the inner city of Johannesburg and acknowledges that urban agriculture forms an important part of food security provisions. The partnership with JHC, Makhulong A Matala ensures that the City of Johannesburg actively supports and provides steady supplies of fresh produce for the urban food system.”

A sustainability plan detailing the maintenance of gardening is in place and Lake Success tenants were trained to understand, start up and manage an organic food garden and cultivation of medicinal herbs at low scale, for livelihood and to increase the levels of household food security. The plan outlines growing of own seedlings from seeds to moderate costs of buying readily grown seedlings, introducing basic business skills for income generation from the project and using available and free resources such as harvested rain water and grey water harvesting. JHC sought the services of Food & Trees for Africa to manage the project until tenants take over the project completely. Makhulong and Food & Trees for Africa will continue to mentor tenants in the maintenance of the garden but the ultimate aim will be to develop tenants into entrepreneurs through imparting knowledge to fellow tenants with the aim of replicating the project in the community and to consider selling their produce to generate income for the project at some point.

“We hope this project will emulate the success stories we’ve seen in other JHC gardens where the number of tenants have increasingly continued to show interest in taking ownership in the maintenance of the gardens in their buildings” says Elize Stroebel, CEO of Johannesburg Housing Company.

Details of the event:
Launch date: 23 June 2014, 10h00
Venue: Cnr Peterson & Edith Cavell, Hillbrow
RSVP: Dikeledi Moiloa
Enquiries: Mpolokeng Setsubi (JHC) 010 593 0234 OR Alice Moloto (JDA) 011 688 7851